Every few months, various ‘experts’ in the SEO field proclaim that keywords are dead. Or that keywords don’t really matter anymore. But it’s not true. Keywords matter, but using them successfully in SEO has changed and continues to change all the time.
The keyword strategies of the early Noughties – stuff your web content full of them – certainly don’t work any longer and are more likely to get your site kicked out of the SERPs.
Yes, these days, search engines put a much greater focus on content than before, and great content is a must. But that content needs carefully inserted keywords. And some of the best keywords are long-tail keywords, which is where the software we are reviewing today comes in.
But before we get to our review of Long Tail Pro, we should take a few minutes to explain why a dedicated SEO software exists to find them at all.
The Importance of Long Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are (as the name suggests) longer, more specific keyphrases. They are the key phrases that searchers use when they are getting closer to making a purchasing decision. Increasingly they are also used in voice search, which, thanks to the plethora of devices offering built-in Alexa/Google Assistant/Siri/Cortana, is increasing in volume every day.
How do they work? Let’s say that you are shopping for a new sofa for your less than spacious flat. Input the keyword sofa, and the results will be less than helpful. You’ll get lots of ads, the listings for big furniture stores in your area and the search results for the biggest players in the industry, but not the inspiration you were looking for.
So, a smart searcher, which most consumers have become, starts inputting keyphrases that describe just what they are looking for. ‘Small sofa for flat’ ‘small wooden sofa’ ‘small red sofa’ etc. These are long-tail keywords, and if you can master their use as they relate to your product or service, then they can give you a serious advantage over your competition in the SERPs.
Mastering long-tail keyword usage isn’t easy, though. Long Tail Pro has long claimed, however, to make doing so much easier. But does it? That’s what we set about finding out.
What is Long Tail Pro?
Long Tail Pro is a keyword research tool but a rather specific one. It’s designed for those doing SEO rather than PPC which is the opposite of some keyword research tools that are basically clones of Google’s Keyword Planner, a tool designed for PPC that SEOs use the best they can (with varying results).
Input a ‘seed’ keyword, and it will return dozens and dozens of long-tail keywords related to it. It will also display the search volume for each of them, the number of words, the ad bid price and, most useful of all, Keyword Competitiveness. This lets you see how difficult the keyphrase will be to rank for.
Using Long Tail Pro: The Basics
Before you use the software, you’ll need your seed keyword (s) There are lots of different places you can find these; other keyword research tools, Google predictive search, Google Trends, Amazon, your competitor’s websites, wherever you already look for keyword inspiration.
Once you have your seed keyword, pop it into the interface. Within a few seconds, you’ll have a screenful of long-tail keywords along with their KC score, Search Volume, Bid Value, Number of Words, and Overall Rank Value.
From here you can sort them however you like. Many people go straight for that KC score, as those values let you see which of these keyphrases are going to be the easiest to rank for in Google.
Long Tail Pro Ease of Use
For some, the fact that Long tail Pro is a software that has to be installed may seem a little old-fashioned – and even something of a pain – but it does not really affect very much. The software is available in both Mac and PC versions and is easy to install.
Once it is up and running LingTail Pro is well laid out and easy to navigate. None of the functions are more than two clicks away, and the university learning feature is indeed a very helpful one, even for those with significant LTK experience already.
Reasons to Opt for the KC Score Rank
Here’s a little SEO wisdom for you. Opting for the KC Score Rank may seem like the easy way out, but SEO does not always have to be crushingly hard.
The number presented for this value by Long Tail Pro is between 1 and 100. The higher it is, the harder it will be to rank for. Usually, anything under 30 is considered easy. Anything over 40 will be much harder.
If yours is a new website or your domain authority isn’t very high yet (35 or under) your best bet really is to stick with key phrases that have a KC score of less than 30. The algorithm behind the software is a well-established and well-built one, and it performs better than other software in this specific niche so you can rely on it.
We’ve found, in our daily work for clients that this approach works, and often works exceptionally well. So why would you make your life hard if you don’t have to?
Long Tail Pro Feature Set
Advanced Long Tail Keyword Research
No matter what you might have heard while keywords are not quite as important as they were five years ago, they are still a major part of any successful SEO campaign, and good keyword research is still central and very important. It’s the way they are used that has changed, and the rise of the LTK is a biggie.
Given the changes that BERT has brought about and those smarter bots, choosing the right ones that match the content they are contained in’s intent is not easy.
But Long Tail Pro makes LTK research comprehensive, faster, and easier. With your keyword as a root, the software will suggest a list of matching long-tail options for you to consider and it will do so in a matter of seconds.
Comprehensive Difficulty Ratings
What sounds better. Having an easy listing of super simple keywords to rank for, or just “guessing” which keywords you should spend your time on and ending up choosing a set that you never had a chance of ranking well for because the competition was just too high?
The truth is, for most SMBs, it’s almost always a better SEO tactic to go after the low hanging fruit, a tactic that will often lead to a significant increase in your traffic in a shorter time. Long Tail Pro’s difficulty rankings are comprehensive and extensive, covering all three major search engines – Google, Bing and Yahoo! – and even some sage advice for Amazon, YouTube and major social media sites.
If more than one person is working on the campaign – which may be the case, especially for an SEO agency – the Live Notes feature offered in Long Tail Pro’s dashboard can be a great way to brainstorm a formal keyword plan even if the collaborators work nowhere near one another.
As an agency that boasts key team members located across the globe here at Pearl Lemon we can attest to just how useful these kinds of tools can be, especially when it comes to cutting down on email and messaging back and forth that is not only time-consuming but also easy to lose track of.
Want to see which long-tail keywords your competitors are chasing, and how well that pursuit is going? Long Tail Pro can help there too. Not only can you see which keywords they are ranking for, but you can also get a good snapshot view of their SEO in general, including some crucial Moz data.
Easy Keyword List Export
Long Tail Pro allows the easy export of keyword lists, notes and other work so you can hand it off to other team members or even to clients so you can show them all the hard work on keyword research you’re performing on their behalf.
Long Tail Pro University
As we mentioned earlier, long-tail keywords can be hard to find and hard to use. The Long Tail Pro University feature – which is available free to subscribers – offers a wealth of lessons and resources that will help you learn to make the best possible use of both the software and the concept of using long-tail keywords to boost SEO in general.
Fast Google, Bing and Yahoo! Rank Check
What real use would a keyword tool be without offering the ability to quickly check how your chosen long-tail keywords are ranking in the three major search engines? Real-time rankings allow you to see what’s working, what isn’t and to make any needed adjustments on the fly.
While a lot of people decide to strictly use the long-tail keywords that are the easiest to rank for, there is a lot more you can do within the Long Tail Pro interface.
Maybe you would like to understand more about what page one traffic for the long-tail keywords you are now considering using looks like. You can do that. Click on the result that interests you, and you will be taken to a competitor analysis screen that is a lot more detailed.
Here you’ll be able to see all kinds of information, including things like trust flow, citation flow, site age, external backlinks, and more. For some people, it may be a little more information than they can comprehend, but for SEO experts, it provides some very interesting ‘bonus’ insights.
The interface also includes a rank tracker, so that when you have chosen your keywords, you’ll be able to track their performance in real-time. You can track performance in Google and Bing, and across several countries. It’s a great tool to have and makes seeing if your hard work is paying off much easier.
When you sign up for Long Tail Pro, you get a lot more than just the basic software, which we found to be impressive. In fact, your whole experience with the software starts with a webinar that takes you through it step by step, so that when you are ready to get started, you can dive right in. There’s also a 7-day free trial that will let you experiment with software and get a real feel for whether this will be a useful tool for you.
Who should consider using this software? SEO professionals for sure. The keyword suggestions are wide-ranging and impressive, and their reporting capabilities are excellent. But we’re not the only people it can be especially helpful for:
Bloggers: Every successful blogger has a basic niche, but usually lots of other content is being written in the niche too, so even the best work will struggle to stand out if you rely solely on the same generic keywords every time.
By making use of this software, you will be able to come up with a constant stream of rankable long-tail keywords, and as long-tail keywords are easier to incorporate into the content naturally making use of those suggested by Long Tail Pro should not disturb your creative flow too much.
Retailers: This tool can give you more than just good keywords to target; it can give you an insight into how consumers search for your products. Remember the sofa example at the beginning? The sofa seller may have thought people were looking for products like hers based on size, but they pull once long-tail keywords from Long Tail Pro they may discover that it’s color that matters. This can be helpful in creating product content-related content – and listings – in general.
This is the sticking point for some; Long Tail Pro is not cheap, and there is no free option. At the time of writing, Long Tail Pro is priced as follows:
For many, however, the single user basic plan – offered at $25 per month if paid annually – is more than enough, and the investment will pay dividends in terms of SEO success if you make use of it regularly and follow up on implementing its recommendations in line with the rest of your SEO plan.
Overall, we’re fans of Long Tail Pro and think it’s worth the investment. It’s not perfect. It might be nice if you could do more daily searches (it caps out at 200 a day) but only a very busy agency would need that many. Average users will find that Long Tail Pro offers them more than enough.
The fact that you will need to do some keyword research before you use this tool may seem counterproductive. But it’s not. Long-tail keywords are a great way for SMBs and individuals to compete against the big boys. And they are a large part of, as we mentioned earlier, voice search.
Voice search is growing fast, but surprisingly few SEOs are paying it the attention they should be. Start ranking for some good long-tail queries right now, before they realize their mistake and you’ll already be way ahead of the game.
To try out Long Tail Pro, head here.
To have the Pearl Lemon SEO team do all this hard work for you, contact us here.